Saturday, October 23, 2010

Momofuku's 5:10 Eggs

Don't speak to me about the dangers of runny eggs. I love them. In fact, for the past few weeks, I've been itching to boil up a batch of soft-cooked eggs. After watching the chefs at Momofuku Ko plate and cut open perfectly soft-cooked hen eggs (served with hackleback caviar, onion soubise and fingerling potato chips), I've wanted to give it a shot, too.

But while some brave souls have recreated David Chang's entire dish at home, I ain't nearly that intrepid. Nor, frankly, do I have two hours to devote to stirring a pot of onion soubise. And potato chips aren't Paleo.

The Momofuku cookbook's recipe for just the soft-cooked eggs, however, is fast and simple, and the eggs can be added to just about any dish.

5:10 Eggs
  • Boil a big pot of water.
  • Gently lower a bunch of large eggs into the boiling water.
  • Exactly 5 minutes and 10 seconds later, carefully transfer the eggs to an ice bath (a.k.a. a big bowl of ice water).
  • Gently crack each egg and peel 'em in the bowl, under the water.
  • Handle the eggs carefully -- they should feel like little water balloons encased in jelly.
  • Keep them in the fridge until you're ready to eat (up to 8 hours). Right before serving, warm the eggs under hot running tap water for a minute. (Optional: Smoke the eggs! Add a few drops of liquid smoke to a large container of water, place the peeled eggs in the container, and refrigerate for a few hours.)
  • When ready to serve, split each egg open with a small knife, allowing the gooey yolk to ooze onto the other food on your plate, thereby rendering everything super-awesomely delicious.
Tonight, M whipped up a quick dinner using a mishmash of stuff we had on hand in our fridge and pantry: Bratwurst, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, broccoli. It was tasty -- and also a perfect opportunity for me to throw in a soft-cooked egg.

Here's how the eggs looked post-peeling:

And on my dinner plate, after being sliced open:

Going into this, I was a bit skeptical that 5:10 was the precise cooking time needed to set the egg white while keeping the yellow center liquid. But I'll be damned: This recipe works perfectly.

I couldn't be in Philly to watch the Giants clinch the National League pennant tonight, but I did polish off a celebratory bratwurst in their honor. Coating the sausage with the gooey yolk of a 5:10 egg made it taste even better.